Duke Energy received Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) permission to build its Edwardsport, Ind. generation plant in 2007. Since then, Duke Energy has sought rate recovery for the plant's capital and operating costs in IURC cases, as allowed by state law.
On December 27, 2012, the IURC approved a settlement agreement among the OUCC, a group of Duke Energy's large industrial customers, Nucor Steel and Duke Energy. The approved agreement permanently caps the project's costs and shields ratepayers from nearly $900 million in cost overruns. The OUCC's April 30, 2012 and December 27, 2012 news releases offer an overview.
In ongoing cases, the OUCC continues to closely monitor the Edwardsport project's costs in light of the 2012 order. This includes close scrutiny of Duke Energy's various rate tracking filings to ensure that the utility only receives appropriate cost recovery, and receives it through the appropriate tracker mechanism.
In pending IGCC recovery cases, the OUCC, industrial customers, and Duke Energy reached a settlement agreement in September 2015 that would provide $85 million in additional ratepayer relief. The OUCC's September 18, 2015 news release offers a summary. A new settlement agreement - filed on January 15, 2016 - increases that amount to $87.5 million. The agreement is pending before the IURC.
- The plant is a 618-megawatt integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) facility. Rather than using traditional means of coal-fired generation, the baseload generating facility is designed to use IGCC technology to convert coal into a synthetic gas. Remaining nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and mercury emissions are then removed from the gas before it is burned to generate electricity.
- Duke Energy declared the project in service as of June 2013, though the actual "in-service" date is disputed by the OUCC and other parties. The new Edwardsport plant replaced a 160-MW facility that had been in operation since the 1940s.
- When proposed in 2006, the project had an estimated cost of $1.985 billion, which was revised in 2008. The IURC approved the revised estimate of $2.35 billion in January 2009.
- In November 2009, Duke Energy requested IURC approval for a revised cost estimate of $2.88 billion. The OUCC filed testimony regarding the proposed cost revision on July 30, 2010, recommending a cap on project costs and expressing serious concerns about the project's cost increases and continuing inaccurate cost estimates.
- On September 17, 2010, the OUCC, Duke Energy, and most other consumer parties in this case reached and filed a settlement agreement with the IURC regarding the project's costs. The agreement was withdrawn on December 9, 2010.
- The IURC held public field hearings on February 28, 2011 in Columbus, Indiana and March 1, 2011 in Kokomo, Indiana.
- In testimony filed on July 14, 2011, the OUCC recommended that the project be completed, but that the IURC deny rate recovery of any costs over Duke Energy's original estimate ($1.985 billion).
- A new settlement agreement filed in 2012 permanently caps the project's costs and provides a number of additional consumer benefits. The IURC approved this agreement with slight modifications.
Ongoing Rate Recovery
Duke Energy recovers its costs for the project through a billing component known as the IGCC rider. As allowed by state law, Duke may request adjustments to the IGCC rider twice each year. The IURC has adjusted this rider to reflect current construction costs on a semi-annual basis.
For More Information
To review all public documents in these cases, including formal testimony, visit the IURC website and enter docket number 43114.
This page will be updated as warranted.